How much does it cost to set up a WordPress

A recurring question that comes to me several times a week is how much it’s worth to mount a WordPress. And it all comes from that “WordPress is free”. No, WordPress is not free, WordPress is free.

Another common reason is due to the confusion that is generated due to the .COM where the Automattic freemium service is and that is an option for many, but a problem when you want to do serious things or want to have absolute control.

I will focus this post on people who do not have technical knowledge, since in case of having them the costs are reduced (not much, but there are details to take into account).

Before starting in detail, I would like to make a brief list of the different elements since, at least, you should have controlled and with an account in each of the sites to be able to operate in them. This means that you will need to have access to the domain registrar, DNS service, and web hosting/hosting. Personally, I recommend using different services for each of these services, so that if one fails the rest are still active, and it is simpler to generate redundancy.

To start setting up a website, anyone, is the domain registration. The only rule I put for this is to register it in an official registrar (in general, serious websites have logos and information about this). Personally, and as I have already commented once, I like to do it in DonDominio since they have good prices and the administration panel is simple, in addition to giving freedom and absolute control of the domains, which in the end is the important thing.

A domain usually costs between 8 and 80 euros per year, it depends on the extension. The most common is that it is around 12-24 euros / year.

This is one of the most technical parts. Once you have the domain, the next step to consider is the control of the DNS. For DNS I like to use Hurricane Electric DNS as they have a free DNS service that covers most needs and at all levels, both for a local site or for an international one.

It is very likely that your hosting provider will also offer you their own DNS service. If you have no idea how to manage them, it is best to leave everything in the hands of the technicians, so hosting them with the hosting provider is usually a good idea since you will not have to worry about IPs, TTL and the like (I know I use words; if you do not know what they mean, your best option is to leave it in the hands of the hosting).

In general, DNS is a free service, since you can get both services (external or your own) without problem. Of course, there are also paid services if the website becomes something serious and with traffic.

Once we have the domain and the DNS, the next and last step (in the technological part) is the hosting. There are many options here, but in general, if you want to base yourself on price, a minimum accommodation usually costs at least 120 euros / year, although for less than 180 euros / year you usually do not find anything decent. Paying about 20 euros / month is something very reasonable in a correct and stable hosting, which is the WordPress web hosting that I offer.

The web hosting has to have some minimums that, as they vary, I recommend you follow in the Requirements page for WordPress. Basically, it has to have an updated version of PHP, database and security layers (at least against massive attacks -DDoS- and a firewall / WAF).

In addition, when we talk about WordPress, we have to talk about updates. The secret of a good WordPress lies in basically keeping everything up to date. And when I say everything is everything: core, themes, plugins, translations… In general, current hosting systems only update the core, which in general is the safest, leaving aside themes and plugins that already start from being the most insecure and is what in general people do not care about.

That is why you should consider or make a weekly maintenance agenda, and spend 15-30 minutes to verify that everything is up-to-date, or hire a company or someone to do the maintenance. For example, in my case, I offer a WordPress maintenance service for 10 euros/month.

To finish with this technical part and continuing with security, you have to keep in mind to have backups. In general, it is very rare for a site to disappear if it is maintained, but sometimes the machines fail and a disk or a database can be damaged, and the problem is that there are no easily accessible copies. I recommend that you have several security systems. Usually, the hosting company itself has minimal copies, but in which you usually depend on them completely for almost everything. On the other hand, you have external systems that host copies on a daily basis or whenever you feel like it and that are accessible, although in this case, they usually already have a little cost. For example, I offer WordPress backups from 9 euros/quarter.

Now we have the domain, DNS and web hosting, which means you already have a WordPress mounted. How much does WordPress cost per se? Nothing. WordPress is free as long as you download it from WordPress.org, its official website. Installing it is very easy and in many cases the hosting offers you its installation with a click so that you do not have to do the installation or configuration of the database and so on.

Once you have WordPress installed, a series of several journeys begin. The first thing is the choice of theme and plugins to use. In my personal experience I recommend not focusing so much on the theme at the beginning but on the functionality and content, on making the web do and have what you need. Once you have the functionalities, you decide what sheet metal and paint you are going to put on it. This is important because many Internet projects fail because design takes precedence over operation, and in the end you have a super cool thing, but it does not work, does not sell, goes slow and is an epic fail.

Regarding plugins, always try to look for plugins in the official repository. Notice above all that they are compatible with your version of WordPress and your version of PHP, that it is updated at least since the last 4 months and that its history of changes has some consistency.

Occasionally you won’t find a plugin that does what you need, or yes, but it has a paid version. In general, paid plugins can usually allow the refund of the cost if after trying it is doing not serve you or does not do what you require. In those cases, in addition to contacting its creator, I recommend that you give feedback on what has not worked because they may improve it.

Paying for a premium plugin is correct if it gives you the functionality you need because you do not pay for the plugin itself but for the support, in addition to supporting the developers to continue improving each of the plugins they have. Behind each plugin, there is usually one or more people who are dedicated to it.

Paid plugins there are many prices. In general, the most expensive ones usually have to do with e-commerce, related to the WooCommerce plugin. If you are going to dedicate yourself to selling online, dedicate part of your budget to technology that will help you generate income. If you do not dedicate time and effort it is the same as if you had a store at street level that does not have doors, air conditioning, cash register and minimums so that customers feel comfortable. A website is the digital version of your physical presence, so act accordingly.

Returning to the theme of the themes (the design) the recommendation, always, is to avoid the multipurpose themes (also known as nonsense themes ) that are basically non-optimal themes and that include a visual editor so that those who have no idea of design, layout or development do cool but slow things. In these cases, you will have two problems in the medium term: the first is that the web will be slow and there will not be many options to optimize it, no matter how many plugins you put on it. The second is that the visual editor you use probably works with a non-standard storage system, so that the day you decide to change the template you will lose all the information, and you will have to start at zero as far as the highlighted pages are concerned (or in all those that apply a custom design). Themes there are free, which you can find in the repository, for example, and you have 30-100 euros, which are usually of this model in which “the cheap is expensive”.

The next level can already go up in price, but it is perhaps the right option: use a framework or go a step further and use a custom theme. In the case of using a framework, the advantage is that you will have a base template that can be updated and with a lot of power, and above you can put a design layer but without making many changes in functionality. You can do work that adapts functionalities, but you will have to keep up as the framework is updated so that everything that has the theme goes according to it. In these cases, you have pre-designed themes for 10-100 euros, although you can get something a little tailored for 500-1000 euros.

The highest level is to make something tailor-made. In these cases, I highly recommend working with a corporate identity manual in which the designer already has everything necessary to avoid getting lost from his focus. In these custom themes, you have to integrate the visual but not the functionalities, which must be accompanied by a plugin. That is, a custom theme must be the theme and a plugin, well documented, so that when you change the theme of those elements you had, it signs working (even if you have to adapt the new one). In these cases, the work is usually greater, since it involves design, layout and implementation and development, but you can find people who do things well between 1000 and 10,000 euros (well, and up to everything you want). A corporate website could be around 1,000 – 3,000 euros, depending on a certain complexity, and a more complex website, such as an e-commerce can go from 2,500 to 8,000 euros without disheveling.

Undoubtedly, the highest cost of a website is still on the front, “what is seen” and the administration is still valued very little, “what is not seen”, although in reality it is usually infinitely more important in its proper functioning.

When you already have a website ready, you also have to think about scalability. If true goods that before commented that the price of web hosting can be around 240 euros / year, if you have an electronic commerce or a project with certain traffic, that can not be optimized or that requires many resources, you can fall short and need some more infrastructure, but, this, is another story (which I love and to which I dedicate, but what I said, is another story).


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This document is regulated by the EUPL v1.2 license, published in WP SysAdmin and created by Javier Casares. Please, if you use this content in your website, your presentation or any material you distribute, remember to mention this site or its author, and having to put the material you create under EUPL license.